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May 17, 2012

Fairy Tales: Letting Our Imaginations POP!

By Jennifer Solis and Jenifer Boatwright
Grades 1–2

    With just a few days left in school, we found our kids daydreaming and talking about summer vacation. We decided to take that creative energy and turn it into a whimsical fairy tale — while introducing a genre they will need to be familiar with in 3rd and 4th grade. Depending on the time you have, this activity can be done in two to five days.

     

    Circle Map

    We started by asking our students what they already know about fairy tales. We gave them a few moments of thinking time. Then we went right into a pair-share or a group share. After a few minutes, we started taking suggestions and recording our student responses on the circle map. We have used this strategy all year with our students. They know that this map is a tool for organizing their thoughts.

     

    Story Map

    Once we had our circle map finished, we moved into a story map or tree map. We labeled the branches "characters," "setting," "problem," "events," and "solution." As a class we talked about what our story would include from our circle map. We also spent time giving them examples of popular fairy tales so they would have some background information to start with.

     

    Class Story

    After finishing the story map, we assigned groups to collectively come up with one or two sentences for a certain part of the story. For example, one group needed to write the “Once upon a time” sentence and include at least one character. Another group had to write a sentence describing the setting, and so on. Once the group had their sentence ready, they wrote it on a sentence strip and added it to the pocket chart. After all the sentence strips were placed in the pocket chart, we read the story together and made corrections to grammar and spelling. We also added details and corrected punctuation. Finally, we wrote the final draft on a piece of chart paper.

     

    Making Pop-Up Books

    We used white construction paper or computer paper to make the pages of our book. Each page included one to two sentences and a picture. We all had the same story since we all wrote it together. The pictures below show how we cut the pages to create the pop-up.

    We gave our students a variety of clip art, which we found online. Students were encouraged to change characters or anything else they wanted to make it their own story, but copying the class story was just fine, too.

    What are you doing to keep students motivated and working near the end of the school year? We are always looking for more ideas!

    With just a few days left in school, we found our kids daydreaming and talking about summer vacation. We decided to take that creative energy and turn it into a whimsical fairy tale — while introducing a genre they will need to be familiar with in 3rd and 4th grade. Depending on the time you have, this activity can be done in two to five days.

     

    Circle Map

    We started by asking our students what they already know about fairy tales. We gave them a few moments of thinking time. Then we went right into a pair-share or a group share. After a few minutes, we started taking suggestions and recording our student responses on the circle map. We have used this strategy all year with our students. They know that this map is a tool for organizing their thoughts.

     

    Story Map

    Once we had our circle map finished, we moved into a story map or tree map. We labeled the branches "characters," "setting," "problem," "events," and "solution." As a class we talked about what our story would include from our circle map. We also spent time giving them examples of popular fairy tales so they would have some background information to start with.

     

    Class Story

    After finishing the story map, we assigned groups to collectively come up with one or two sentences for a certain part of the story. For example, one group needed to write the “Once upon a time” sentence and include at least one character. Another group had to write a sentence describing the setting, and so on. Once the group had their sentence ready, they wrote it on a sentence strip and added it to the pocket chart. After all the sentence strips were placed in the pocket chart, we read the story together and made corrections to grammar and spelling. We also added details and corrected punctuation. Finally, we wrote the final draft on a piece of chart paper.

     

    Making Pop-Up Books

    We used white construction paper or computer paper to make the pages of our book. Each page included one to two sentences and a picture. We all had the same story since we all wrote it together. The pictures below show how we cut the pages to create the pop-up.

    We gave our students a variety of clip art, which we found online. Students were encouraged to change characters or anything else they wanted to make it their own story, but copying the class story was just fine, too.

    What are you doing to keep students motivated and working near the end of the school year? We are always looking for more ideas!

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